As humans continue to rely on fossil fuels, temperatures will rise, natural disasters will become more extreme, droughts and heat waves will become more common, crop harvests will become less consistent and sea levels will rise. But, on the other hand, fresh powder dude! Last season brought an overabundance of gnar prime for shredding. Here’s to hoping for even more.
A lot of students at UNR seem to have a cynical view of Reno; some call it seedy, trashy, etc. Say what you want about Reno, but it is adjacent to some pretty incredible places and Lake Tahoe is home to some of the best ski locations in the world. Your time at UNR may be the only time to experience the pure adrenaline rush of skiing or snowboarding, so you might as well give it a shot. What follows is a beginners guide to skiing culture around Reno.
SKI RESORTS NEAR RENO
Mt. Rose (currently open)
Pros: Only 25 minutes from Reno. There is a variety of runs, both for beginners and experts.
Cons: An unrestricted college student pass costs $499. You can get an ultra-savings pass for $299, but that means you can only ski/snowboard once a week, excluding weekends. Single-day passes cost $125, not including rentals. Also, Mt. Rose can become very crowded.
Boreal (currently open)
Pros: Boreal has $15 Fridays for college students (I know you’re poor). It has night skiing, which is sick. Boreal is a good place for beginners. Affordable lessons are available.
Cons: The mountain is relatively small and the runs are pretty basic.
Squaw Valley & Alpine Meadows (opens Friday, Nov. 17)
Pros: In an attempt to combat the altruistic monopolizers at Vail, Squaw Valley bought up Alpine Meadows. There is a shuttle which runs between the two locations. Squaw Valley offers night skiing. It also is home to the 1960 winter Olympics, whatever that’s worth. The college pass costs $470 with no blackout dates. Prices go up Nov. 21. You can get a 4-ticket pack for $369.
Cons: It pales in comparison to the Heavenly/Kirkwood/Northstar package.
Heavenly, Northstar & Kirkwood (opens Friday, Nov. 17)
Pros: This is the product of Vale’s altruistic monopolizing, and it’s amazing. Heavenly is the most gorgeous place on Earth and it has a freaking gondola you can ride through the air. Northstar is 40 minutes from Reno, it has a 2,280 vertical drop and has over 90 different runs. You could ski all day and not cover the whole mountain. I’m sure Kirkwood is fine too.
Cons: The Tahoe Local Pass costs a whopping $589 and they are only on sale until Sunday. Oh, yeah, and the whole altruistic monopolizing thing.
DO’S AND DONT’S OF SKIING/SNOWBOARDING
Do: Wear a helmet. I am aware that they look uncool. You know what else is uncool? Brain damage. Helmet up!
Don’t: Be embarrassed if you fall. It happens to everyone. It’s all a process. Think of it this way, every time you fall you get a little better. I’m not sure if that’s true, but isn’t it pretty to think so?
Do: Be wary of other people on the hill. This one is actually for the more experienced skiers/snowboarders. You do not own the slope. Everyone else deserves to be there just as much as you do. Give people their space. Don’t spray snow at people minding their own business. That’s rude. You’re rude.
Don’t: Blast music from a speaker in your backpack. I know that EDM remix of a Flo Rida song that your cousin showed you is totally dope, but no one else in lines cares to hear it.
Do: Rent your gear from Bobo’s (or someplace similar) for the entire season. If you aren’t going to buy gear, it’s cheaper than renting from the mountain every time you go. Next year, take advantage of the ski swap.
Don’t: Take selfies on the chairlift. In the cold, you will lose dexterity of your fingers and you will drop your phone. Sure that new Snapchat filter is cute. You know what’s not cute? Digging through the snow trying to find your new iPhone X.
Do: Wax your skis. I guess. I’m actually not totally sure about this one.
Don’t: Continue to lay down on the ground after you fall down trying to get off the chairlift. I know it’s just hilarious and you want to laugh with your friends, but more people are coming quickly and they are going to fall on top of you if you don’t get out of the way.
Do: Bring a lunch. Ski resort food is very expensive and skiing/snowboarding is very draining.
Don’t: Be afraid. Most of the people I know who hate skiing hate it because they spent their entire first trip terrified. The mountain is not your enemy, but your friend. If you fall, it most likely won’t hurt at all because you’re wearing a thick jacket and snow is soft.
Do: Take it slow. I know you’ve been studying Shaun White videos and you’re ready to hit the halfpipe, but maybe start with the bunny hill? Perfect your pizzas and french fries before heading to the black diamond.
Don’t: Eat the snow. People ski there you weirdo. That’s gross. You’re gross.
Do: Have fun. That’s the whole point. Go out with your friends and enjoy yourself. Feel the cold air and remember you are alive.